ch3cooh: (Default)
This post is really just a salute to (got it free online! yay!)... and proof that I either have too much spare time, no time management skills, or really really weird priorities...

By the way, if you ever get it in your head to make some dominion cards, poke me if you want the templates I've found and made.

ch3cooh: (ESP)
Halloo, I've been working on a Dominon set for ESP (MIT student group that runs programs where college-students+ teach classes for 7th-12th graders.)  I want the set to be at basically the same power level as normal dominion (aka, if I introduced a card from this into normal dominion, it wouldn't be very over or under powered.)  And I think I want this following list of cards to be the base set.  So, it should have a good balance of costs, card draw, buys, money, actions. Before I spend a bunch of time printing and cutting, etc.  I'd love to get feedback - anything from typos to massive play glitches in the new cards would be very good to know!  Suggestions for other cards, also cool. :)
There's A Lot of Stuff Behind this Cut! (including some pictures) ) 

Nice! :)

Jan. 24th, 2011 11:55 am
ch3cooh: (SUCCESS!)
One of the two Springer books I got (free) at Mathcamp 3 years ago - "Mathematics and Its History" is the textbook for the "Teaching Mathematics with a Historical Perspective" course I'm taking this semester.    This is a great sign for what this class is going to be like! :D
ch3cooh: (SUCCESS!)
I'm working with a friend, Reena, on a teacher-training video series for ESP and the first video which I am mainly responsible for producing is "Things that should increase with class difficulty" We were talking about this at 4am today and, since one of the sub-topics is writing a good class description, we were talking about the effect of adding "Hardcore" to a class title.  Earlier... yesterday?... one of my students had suggested that I should have called my class "Cannibalism" instead of Theoretical Computer Science, since that would have attracted more students and since the class features a proof of the incomputability of the halting problem via a carefully constructed turring machine running on its own encoding. <om nom nom> In any case, in the last hour, these two ideas have solidified into an awesome class that I'm going to teach for Splash this year:

Hardcore Cannibalism: The Mathematics of Things That Eat Themselves
Description:  <om nom nom.>

  Fractals (in particular escape time fractals with recurrence relations, like the Mandelbrot set)
  A VERY brief sketch of that proof of the halting problem
Recursive definitions (definitions which contain parts of themselves, like the Fibonacci numbers) and recursive algorithms and, of coruse
  The paradox of self-containing sets

Thus far, these topics are fairly arbitrarily chosen... although reena and I both found it a bit odd that most of the math I teach would fit into this class in some sense.  In any event, if you have ideas or math-topics that I should ad to the above list, comment to this post.  Thanks!
Delta: from Robert Assalay no less - Newton's Method of Approximation, to the extent that it can be done without calculus. :)
ch3cooh: (Mr. Red - size huge!)
Yes, yes we did.
The 5 year D&D run that I joined last year just ended. :-(
And, in celebration of the one of the main NPCs, who, incidentally fit the DM's personality pretty well - a giant red dragon, Mr. Red - we made an enormous strawberry shortcake rum-cake. :-D
He was delicious.


More Pictures... om nom nom )
ch3cooh: (Reena-Rabbit the Matrix has you)
I've been working on a series of poems for a class I took this semester, a poetry workshop.  During the first half of the class, there were more specific prompts, but the assignment for the rest of the year is just to write.  I decided to write a series of poems about something about which I dane ;-)  to know a bit more than average: food, cooking, and flavor.

I'm calling the project, "The Life of Flavor" and it's hopefully going to be an interesting cookbook of sorts, where each recipe is preceded by a series of poems that describe, separately, the main flavors and ingredients of each dish.  The idea is that the impression from each poem should hold strongly enough that the reader, having read the poems in quick succession can 'taste' the dish.  :)

For example, a recipe key lime pie would be preceded by four poems on a page:  lime, cool and smooth, graham cracker, and whipped cream.  So far, I've written a poem about lime, and another about... another food (it would spoil reading the poem a bit for me to tell).  Anyway, I've posted the two poems below, and I'd love feedback.  But I'm mainly posting because I'm looking for a few people to help me write.  If you're interested, either post in response or send me an email.

Poem #1 )
Poem #2 )
ch3cooh: (Fringes of Chaos)
 On Friday, I taught for Proveit! (an ESP program where a MIT student teaches math at a local middle school for an hour once a week) and it was such a beautiful day outside that, 20 minutes before the class needed to start, I decided to scratch the planned topic and make a lecture that I could teach outside using sidewalk chalk (and where the students also get to play with sidewalk chalk a lot).  After a couple minutes, I decided that Graph Theory was excellent - and, in the 15 minutes walking over, this lecture sprang into my head as an awesome introduction with a very simple overlaying theme - 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Graph Theory!. 

I started the lecture with a very basic introduction to what a graph is - verticies, edges, faces, and then the idea of embedding a graph in the plane. Students get to use their chalk a bit here - example: draw one possible embedding of K4 - and it's clear that there are distinctly different ones.  Then we start on the theme: counting down to GRAPH THEORY! == FIVE is a very simple 'proof' that K5 is non-planar.  It's really just intended as an example to show that non-planar graphs are possible.  (online explanation).  Then I introduce the FOUR color theorem and explain that no 'elegant' proof is known - the students get to test it of course, drawing and coloring graphs for each other.  Then, I ask them to prove that K3,3 is non-planar, although the problem is explained as the THREE houses THREE utilities problem. cute digression ) And this sets up Euler's formula V-E+F=TWO and a simple proof with some hints that expanding this idea to graphs embedded on a Taurus is interesting.  (so, that's the FIVE, FOUR, THREE, and TWO)

And now... now I need an awesome conclusion with a surprising ONE, and I can't think of anything.  The ideal would be where the one comes from nowhere - like, if each face of a polyhedron could be labeled with a positive or negative fraction somehow so that they all add up to 1... *sigh* I don't know - I just need something EXCITING (and preferably that can be demonstrated or tested with sidewalk chalk) to end the class!  All ideas welcome and appreciated! I have till this upcoming Friday to figure out how to end the class!
ch3cooh: (Insomnia)
Answers to this question either of the practical nature, or of a mathematically interesting nature would be much appreciated!

I'm currently scheduling interviews for teaching positions in a summer camp (Junction, an MIT ESP program) I talked with the interviewers and made a schedule of all of the interview slots during which we can convene for interviews. Now I need to email a bunch of prospective teachers and somehow learn enough of their availability to schedule them each for an interview. I'd like to do this without too much email correspondence back and forth since it's a lot of people to keep track of. My current plan is a bit complicated and something less complicated or technology that would help with this would be very appreciated.

There are 35 good interview slots and another 16 ok slots. But for convenience, I'll simply say there are 51 slots. I'll call this set S (interview slots). S is a finite set of non-overlapping hour long intervals between February 21st and March 5th. They are either from an hour to an hour (ex:5pm-6pm) or from a half hour to a half hour (ex:5:30pm-6:30pm). They are distributed irregularly within the range of Feb 21st and March 5th. 20 teachers currently need to be scheduled for interviews, I will call the set of teachers, T. And each Teacher, t_i, has a subset of the interview times that they would be able to make, A_i < S. What is an efficient way to get information from each teacher about their A_i in order to find a unique interview time for each teacher? To further specify 'efficient', let's say that I don't want to ask for more than 10 bits of information in an email, and I want each teacher to need to send me as few emails as possible.

An algorithm that is communication efficient but not always the best is ok (EX: normally requires 2 passed emails with a handful of exception cases where 5 emails may be necessary). However, in this case, know that the trend in my past experience are that some people are very busy and some people are very flexible.

Right now, I'm planning on emailing them all a google form that asks for a bunch of basic info about their class. And, at the end of the form I would ask them to select a subset from a list like this:
Morning of Sunday Feb 21st
Late Evening of Sunday Feb 21st
Early Evening of Thursday Feb 25th
Late Evening of Friday Feb 26th
Where they select an entree if they are available for most of that time range.
I define each time-range of day as follows: Morning (9am-12:30pm), Afternoon(12pm-3:30pm), EarlyEvening(3pm-6:30pm), Late Evening(6:30pm-10pm)
I would then email each person two or three time slots to choose between within one or two of their specified time zones. And they email me back a final time selection.
1) They get an email from me
2) They fill out a form
3) I send them a couple times to choose from
4) They pick a final time

But, honestly, this feels way too complicated! So a better method (from either mathematical or practical experience) would be awesome!

ch3cooh: (Default)
I'm currently planning a snowy camping trip in the Catskills with a few friends. I could use some advice if you have experience with longer colder backpacking trips. I planned out a similar trip in Acadia last spring, but there wasn't nearly as high of a chance of bad weather.

Also: <3 Calvin&Hobbes <3 )

punting :)

Nov. 11th, 2009 03:00 pm
ch3cooh: (Ball Pit)
Partial Credit? )

A friend recommended reading through Calvin and Hobbes - he was right, it's exactly my kind of humor :)

all the Calvin and Hobbes ever (1985-1995, although I've only gotten through the first few months)

FILK Links

Jul. 6th, 2009 10:34 am
ch3cooh: (Oops)
I've promised this list to a lot of friends anyway, so I thought I'd post it here - definitely add your own favorites if they're not here!

(sidenote: Random Awesome Photos


Tom Lehrer
The Old Dope Peddler:
Poisoning the Pigeons in the Park:

Tim Minchin
If I didn't Have You:
Donnie Darko:
Inflatable You:
If you Open your mind too much:

Jonathan Colton
Skullcrusher Mountain:
Code Monkey:
Future Soon:
Your Brains:
The Captain's Wife's Lament:
Betty and Me:
Mandelbrot Set:
Chiron Beta Prime

Arrogant Worms
The Last Saskatchewan Pirate:
Carrot Juice is Murder:

Random Other Stuff
Cows With Guns:
Ultimate Showdown:
Finite Simple Group:
Title of the Song:
Cruel, Cruel Moon:
ch3cooh: (Engineering Hubris)
Reply to this! what's something that you would drop pretty much anything you're doing to learn more about? A topic that, whenever you hear it mentioned, makes your ears perk up? :)

Coming into MIT two years ago, I had a number of these, some of which I've actually managed to pretty much exhaust: Maxwell's Equations, Entropy, Are there really problems that /can't/ be solved?
Some, I still have: Total internal reflection, Space filling curves, Quantum Uncertainty, How Memory Works.
And I've definitely picked up some new ones: Hashing, what makes a computation difficult, and a New level of awareness for how ridiculous Quantum is -
among others that I'm sure I just can't remember right now.

I'm not sure what triggered wanting to post this, maybe prepping classes and realizing that I was summarizing a fairly extensive body of knowledge that I simply didn't have two years ago. Wow, two years... this must be the post I'm writing because I just turned 20.


Mar. 30th, 2009 04:45 pm
ch3cooh: (Winter)
Spring break just ended. I don't feel absurdly relaxed or happy at the moment, however, re-reading a few private LJ entries from last week, the difference is pretty remarkable. Cheers to the power of getting regular (if cold) sleep and being surrounded by trees for a few days!

Trip Details

We (Beth, Kree, and I) got into the park by public transportation late Wednesday evening. Behold! we were not even the first MIT students to Acadia. Another group was having their last camp fire and heading out Thursday morning. (too many board games, my first thought was, now, even if another force moves in, Acadia will still be flagged by MIT unless the foreigners choose to fight) We pitched tent by flashlight, and, upon stove failure #1, borrowed a stove from our neighbors to cook dinner.

On Thursday, the other MIT group let me hitchhike with them into Bar Harbor to get some snow cleats that were obviously necessary given the hike up to the Blackwoods base camp (road completely iced over) and parts for the stove. Getting back around 2pm, we decided we only had time for a day-hike to the coast. This turned out to be an amazing choice. The coast trails were icy in the woods, but the cliffs themselves were pretty clear. We climbed all over the cliffs for the afternoon (risked a nasty death to get sprayed with ocean water, climbed up to a rusted banister sticking out of one cliff side) then hiked back into blackwoods and, after stove failure #2, were offered a stove by a recently ex-soldier who made a campfire with us that night.

Friday was an epic attempted hike along a brook. Inland, the trails were not only icy, but had about 16inches of standing snow in most parts. We spent about 3hrs hiking 2 miles up an, albeit beautiful, if freezing cold (yes, by experience) stream. Picking out the trail was non-trivial, at times, I think we were hiking literally on top of the river by accident. Only fell through once, but when we hit an intersecting carriage trail 2 miles in, we decided to take that back to the main road. Even the carriage trail had 8in of snow. Frozen, frozen feet. :-P

We almost canceled the hike over Cadillac Mt. but, having a few hours to spare at the end of Friday, we had decided to check out the first leg of the trail. Something about being well used or well marked made the main trail much more accessible. :) So, on Saturday, we packed up camp (I think my backpack weighed 40 or so lbs) and did an awesome hike across the length of Acadia - 10 miles total. There were some gorgeous, liken covered balds; a few rough spots with 1-2 yards of snow or steep snow that we slid down in phases, woods, of course. The very last leg of the trail was kind of impassible, so we did the last 3 miles by road - disproved a sign claiming that the 'restrooms were closed for the season' :P.

Having left Blackwoods at 11am, we got into Bar Harbor at 7pm, ate dinner at a restaurant, saw Watchmen at a local theater (which was very good), and caught a cab into Ellsworth at midnight. then hotel, bus, bus, T, cab, home! :D
ch3cooh: (nerd)
Pecker (my dorm floor) totally owned the Bad Ideas Green Building Challenge.
For non MITers, this is a ridiculously stupid competition wherein MIT students climb the 20 floor Green Building as many times as they can in 4hrs (10pmFri.-2amSat.). The competition is by team and scoring is cumulative.

Pecker Owned.

--Random (Pecker)--
jacob 31 FIFTH
lauren 29
paul 30
yau zhu 10
danny zhu 17
phil 25
kenneth 21
kenan 23
tedrick 20
maria 42 FIRST
eric 32 FOURTH (tie)
zandra 15
shauale 29
noah caplan 30
seb 17
krishanu 11
jeff wu 27
Avg: 24.058

As a team we had
1) Highest total number of green buildings, thus winning the competition (2nd place Tetazoo with 215 green buildings)
2) Highest average of green buildings per person (2nd place BTB with 20 average GB/person)
3) A runner who ran the most runs of any one competitor -- 42 runs, setting a new girl's record
4) Second best turnout
5) By far, the best morale of any team. It was awesome!

I, myself, did about as much as I could do without hurting myself. (maybe a little more, two days later, my calves are still fairly sore) That was 15 GB's

Just for note:
Random Factoids about the Green Building Challenge:
*Current record is 48GB's by some random 5W-er
*Vertical Mile is equivalent to 20 GB's
"*Tetazoo has been the moral and actual winner in every single Green Building Challenge
since its inception. Just ask any Tetazoa." -- until this year, when Pecker completely owned the entire competition :-P!!

My floor is awesome!


Dec. 6th, 2008 09:21 am
ch3cooh: (nerd)
I am the only undergrad on my dorm floor NOT taking the putnam. Pecker is awesome.
I'm sleeping instead. :) Being nocturnal - also awesome.
-over and out-
ch3cooh: (Punting)
courtesy of Niki (Niki, /you/ are 'vi-o-let sky!')
Mika - from his album Life in Cartoon Motion
An actual music artist from our generation - 23yrs old :)
by order of frequency I have listened to them tonight:
1) Grace Kelly (on the order of 20 times)
2) Over My Shoulder (5-10)
3) Billy Brown
4) Happy Ending
5) Love Today
a lot like Queen with respect to the variety and relaxed if pop like quality of the music.

Ok, back to Cartesian Dualism :)
ch3cooh: (Insomnia)

This... is an olympic sport -- THE MOST AWESOME OLYMPIC SPORT EVER. MIT has a 'curling club.' -- ET is going to go as fans... because we aren't cool enough to curl.

(the two people in front are sweeping the ice to make it slightly warmer so that the rock (yes, it's a rock with a handle being thrown down an ice rink) goes a bit faster and straighter.
ch3cooh: (Default)
Dun, dada dun, dada dun dun da dun dun da, dun dun da dun dun da, dun, dada dun. Duh duuuuuuun duuuuuuun, duhduhduh Duuuuuun Duuuuuun, duhduhduh duuuuuun duuuuuun, duhduhduh duuuuuuuuuuuuuuun...
ch3cooh: (Tombstone)
ET has acquired a possibly semi-permanent, hand-carved marble tombstone from one of it's summer residents.  This is the story of how it came from campus to ET at 12:30am last night.:
    I got a call from Dragon (owner of tombstone) at 11:05 last night asking "hey, where are you, we need to get this out of here tonight."  So I caught the 11:15 Saferide back to ET and found the van to have a dead battery.  Getting the hood open was an epic puzzle in itself -- took me nearly 20min since ET evidently has *no* working flashlights :-P.  Fist step was finding this small lever on the driver's side and then sitting on the driveway for 10 minutes staring at the still-closed latch under the hood (now exposed by popping the hood with the lever) until I realized it needed to be pushed sideways 1cm in order to uncatch.  But, - oh *no* -  ET has no jumper cables either!  So I need to go to Comm. Ave. at 12:15 now to catch a cab, but, wait, I have no money (HSSP really soaks it out of the Directors - program's supposed to go overbudget of 400 students * $30 = $12,000 and about 1/4 of that passes through the directors - HSSP owes me about $2000 right now. :-P).  But I know that ET keeps a big cup of spare change so I grab that and offer to exchange with a few other summer residents.  One of them thinks it would be hillarious to pay off his friend in dimes and nickels, so I get $15 with a promise to count it out later.  I run down to Comm. Ave.  Grab a cab, but, WAIT - IT CAN'T START.  At this point I kind of feel like I'm exuding a negative charge field, but I ask the driver if he has jumper cables and he says yes.  Then another cab, seeing us stranded, offers a ride, and the two drivers negotiate (in some language that I can't understand at all, with a lot of clicks and pops) that the latter can take the former's jumper cable and help me jump the van.  So I take this cab and the cables up to ET and after two tries (black of working, running car -black of discharged batterg, /then/ red of working - (*be careful, it sparks*) red of disfunctional car, and then start the disfunctional car).  Fails.  The driver tells me to get water, sketchily washes the corrosion off of ET's engine, and tries again. AND IT STARTS!  So, then to campus, pick up this 250lb beautifully hand-carved tombstone (white marble relief of a crouched girl), and back to ET where it now sits in the living room.  :-)  One hell of a night!

pict of Dragon's tombstone:
ch3cooh: (Shiny Calculator)
:-D  Today I learned that my window's accessory calculator can change to //Scientific Mode// in which it is a super-computer of awesome that eats numbers in base hexadecimal!

as context, every Friday/Saturday/Sunday I do an overhaul-shift so that I can be nightshifted during the week (I get up at 5pm for Junction) and super dayshifted for HSSP, Sunday (I get up around 5am to print out and write stuff, get the carts together and... sometimes finish class prep) -- this shift generally occurs by being up for most of some 24 hr period.  If I'm bad, then It's the 24hrs around HSSP -- that makes me sad since I'm teaching for the /last/ 5.5 of those hours so I prefer to shift Friday or Saturday -- so, i've been awake for a while... the world is beautiful... my calculator fascinates me...
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